Our aim is to provide highly skilled and trained search team personnel to assist the NZ Police, capable of efficient and safe operation in bush and non-technical alpine environments. Our members come from a wide background offering outdoor skills, experience and expertise. Applicants can be members of clubs or be active individuals with well developed bushcraft and survival skills, capable of self reliance in difficult and sometimes trying situations with a knowledge of our local tracks and surrounding environment. Recreational activities they may take part in include tramping, deerstalking, mountaineering, back country skiing. A reasonable level of fitness / stamina is a pre-requisite – as you may need to be fit enough to keep moving in rough country for up to 8 hours at a time although some search tasks do only require lower levels of fitness, and members are tasked appropriate to their fitness levels.
To maintain a high level of Search & Rescue competence, – bush/alpine volunteers are expected to upskill by attending free SARINZ courses in Search Methods, Track & Clue Awareness and Tracking. Wakatipu SAR also has in-house training such as using GPS, radios, working with dogs, helicopter safety, basic rope skills or first aid.
Team members need to be able to respond/mobilise quickly so should have a basic pack all ready to go, with appropriate clothing, equipment and food – sufficient for an overnight call out. This would include waterproof outer clothing, a range of layering warm wear, sturdy boots with gaiters, bivvy bag or small/light tent, cooker/fuel, torch with batteries, eating utensils, high energy easily cooked food and a first aid kit. Hi-viz vests and other specialist equipment is supplied by Wakatipu LandSAR on a call out.
Wakatipu LandSAR is always needing new volunteers. Anyone interested in becoming a bush/alpine volunteer can apply online in the “Join Us” section of this website or by completing an application form at the Queenstown Police Station.